Churchgoers, wanting to share their belief that Christ’s second coming has already happened, were in Manchester on Monday to help clean up after the Chinese New Year celebrations.
Members of the congregation from the World Mission Society Church of God headed to Chinatown on Sunday as litter pickers so they could spread the word.
The Church of God has said it will continue to clean up Greater Manchester every Sunday and after special events until the city is completely cleaned, so they can spread the love of second coming Christ Ahnsahnghong, and awareness of environmental issues.
They also worked at Salford and Prestwich to clean up areas which are privately owned and so do not get cleaned by the council. Churches across the world worked as one, chanting, ‘I have already come!’ and ‘We love you,’ in English and Korean. The words were accompanied by choreography that transcends language. Lauren Webb, from the Manchester church, said: “We got a great response, a lot of people said it was really warm and friendly. A couple said they’ll come to the church, so that’s really positive.”
The church celebrated the 94th anniversary of the birth of Christ Ahnsahnghong on Christmas Day. He was said to have restored the truth of life which had been destroyed since the time of Jesus and his apostles.
The church teaches the idea to love thy neighbour, hence the instilling of civic pride through community cleanups. The second coming of Christ, Ahnsahnghong, founded the church in 1964 in Bundang, Korea. It has since gained a level of importance equivalent to that which Jerusalem has for Western Christians.
He died in 1985, leaving the leadership of the church to his spiritual wife, Zahng Gil Jah, known as the ‘Heavenly Mother’ and the General Pastor, Kim Joo-Cheol.
The World Mission Society Church of God is unique in its belief that there is a female aspect of God. It teaches that, because both male and female were created in God’s image, then God must be male and female.
The church has an estimated 2,200 churches in 150 countries throughout the world, and the number of registered members is over 1.6 million. It reached Manchester in 2008 and has since drawn in 65 members and had to relocate to accommodate them all.
The religion is moving in a very business-like way across the world. It has a head office and a multimedia department, through which they aim to deliver the message, one church at a time.
The church is reaching out to the community by practising what they preach; they’ve had a really positive response.